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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 16, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> the "cbs evening news with scott pelley" is next. captions by: caption colorado >> pelley: show and tell takes a twist and turn after handcuffs from the police-- >> made me feel like a criminal and terrorist. >> pelley: a pat on the back from the president. also tonight, round two for the g.o.p.'s sweet 16. how many will be standing after this debate? at least six hikers are killed by flash floods and the search goes on for victims of the wildfires. and below the sidewalks of new york, the wait for a train nearly 100 years late. >> we are about 84%, 85% done. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: this is our western edition. an alarm clock that went off in irving, texas, got the attention of the entire nation today.
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because the proud young muslim boy who built it almost wound up in jail. instead, he's headed to the white house at the invitation of the president. here's mark strassmann. >> i made it to impress my teachers. >> reporter: on monday ahmed mohamed brought to school this homemade digital clock, a circuit board wedged inside a pencil case. he showed it to his engineering teacher but told us it was his english teacher who got alarmed when the clock beeped inside his backpack during class. >> i brought the clock to my teacher and i showed it to her after class and i plucked it in and showed it to her that it was a working clock and she told me it looked like a bomb. >> reporter: he was arrested for building a hoax bomb. >> i felt like i was a criminal. i was profiled as a terrorist. >> reporter: he was fingerprintd and taken to juvenile detention. school district spokesperson lesley weaver. >> we were doing everything with an abundance of caution to protect all of our students in
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irving. >> reporter: police later concluded the device was harmless, just a clock as mohamed said all along, and declined to press charges. irving police chief larry boyd denied the teen had been profiled because he was a muslim. >> we live in an age where you can't take things like that to schools. we have seen across our country horrific things happen. we have to err on the side of caution. the reaction would have been the same regardless. >> reporter: but social media exploded in outrage. people posed with clocks in solidarity, the hashtag, "i stand with ahmed" was repeated. facebook founder mark zuckerberg invited him to stop by and president obama tweeted, "cool clock, ahmed. want to bring it to the white house? we should inspire more kids like you to like science. it's what makes america great." >> i didn't think i was going to get and supporters because i was muslim and i didn't think anyone would care about that. >> reporter: mohamed has been invited to the white house next month for an astronomy night to meet with government scientists. he is still serving a three-day
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school suspension. he told me neither police nor school officials have apologized. >> pelley: mark strassmann in irving for us tonight, mark, thank you. you can hear more from ahmed mohamed tomorrow on "cbs this morning." tonight, the stakes are high for the top 11 candidates for the republican presidential nomination as they meet for a second time in a prime-time debate, this one at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. major garrett is there for us major? >> reporter: they promise the make things better in a post-obama world, no fireworks. before the debate, some candidates desperate for attention resorted to some old-fashioned campaign gimmickry. kentucky senator rand paul fired an ar-15 at the federal tax code this morning to grab attention and take another shot at g.o.p. front-runner donald trump. >> i think if you get trump, you
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get more of the same, and i don't think everybody sees that yet but i see him as the consummate insider. i see him as someone who buys and sells politicians. he's a classic narcissist who thinks he is so smart and so all-powerful that he'll just take care of the chinese. well, how? >> reporter: trump, no longer the novelty front-runner, is now the main target for paul and most other g.o.p. challengers, all of whom trump dismisses as incapable of dealing with china, russia, or iran. >> they're very nice people. but they're never going to do anything with these countries. they're never going to be able to do it. it's an instinct. it's something that's special. they don't have it. believe me, they don't have it. >> reporter: but the latest cbs news/"new york times" poll shows other non-conventional candidates could challenge trump's outsider dominance. neurosurgeon ben carson, who drew a huge crowd of reporters at tonight's debate site, has risen from 6% to 23%. and business executive carly
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fiorina climbed from less than 1% to 4%. fiorina fought her way on to the main stage tonight and has that prime time stage and was welcomed there by some of her republican rivals. she promised to joust with trump tonight. if republicans want to take trump down a peg, one likely place of contention will be to suggest he lax the depth of knowledge and the temperament to be president. >> pelley: major garrett, thanks. well, now let's measure the depth of knowledge of john dickerson, our cbs news political director and, of course, the anchor the "face the nation." john, how do these contenders take a swing at trump? >> reporter: very carefully. they all have a strategy for taking on trump, but every candidate who has tried to do it, with the exception of carly fiorina, and she's one to watch tonight, every candidate who has tried has gone down in the polls. so the real challenge for these candidates is to deal with trump, but also to make the case for their own candidacy. that's what voters will be attracted to. >> pelley: it's amazing the names that we don't talk about anymore, like jeb bush and scott walker.
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>> reporter: those are the two candidates, probably the two to watch, in terms of those who need to make the pitch for why they should still be in the conversation. they need tomorrow to be the one people are talking about. this race is going to come down to donald trump and the alternative to donald trump. and both walker and bush can make the case that they're governors, they know what to do in the job. but they have to give listeners something to hang on to, and so far in the first debate, anyway, they kind of faded into the background. >> pelley: john dickerson, we'll see you sunday on "face the nation." >> thanks, scott. >> pelley: today, a top pentagon official acknowledged that a key part of the president's plan to defeat isis is not working. the strategy is to use american air strikes and troops trained by the u.s. to roll back the islamic extremists controlling much of syria. here's david martin. >> reporter: the plan called for a force of 12,000 syrian opposition fighters that, with the help of american air strikes, could take back territory from isis. training began last spring at
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bases in turkey and jordan, and the first fighters were infiltrated into syria this summer. but when senator deb fischer asked general lloyd austin, commander of the war in iraq and syria, how they were doing, she got a shocking answer. >> can you tell us what the total number of trained fighters remains? >> it's a small number, and the ones that are in the fight is-- is-- is-- we're talking four or five. >> is it still the goal to have about 12,000 of them there? >> at the pace we're going, we won't reach the-- the goal that we had initially established for ourselves. >> reporter: next came senator kelley ayotte. >> this four or five u.s.- trained fighters, let's not kid ourselves. that's a joke. >> reporter: then senator clare mccaskill asked the pentagon's christine wormuth how many fighters were still in training. >> it's between 100 and 120. >> if we end up at the end of the year with us bragging about the difference between 100 and 120, it's time for a new plan.
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>> i certainly don't mean to be bragging. the program is much smaller than we hoped. >> reporter: and likely to remain that way, scott. the pentagon insists it's not giving up on the effort to train syrian fighters, but it will be drastically cut back to a fraction of the original plan. >> pelley: from 12,000 to four or five. david martin at the pentagon for us. david, thank you. today, hungary resorted to tear gas and water cannons to force back refugee families. many of them are fleeing the civil war in syria. they're trying to reach germany which will grant refuge, but hungary doesn't want to be the corridor for that. tonight, the search goes on in southern utah for a hiker missing in a flash flood. at least six others were killed, and ben tracy is there. >> reporter: search-and-rescue teams covered dozens of miles of rugged terrain in zion national park. do you expect at this point to find anyone alive? >> we're hopeful, but it's not
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looking good. >> reporter: on monday, the group of seven was inside keyhole canyon, which is only three feet wide in some parts. therese picard of the national parks service. >> it is dark and it is cold. i can tell you even in july, it's chilly. >> reporter: the canyon filled with water when massive flash floods hit southern utah. >> there goes the van! oh, my goodness! >> reporter: the same storms washed away vehicles in a nearby town. 12 people, most of them children, died. a six-year-old boy is still missing. >> couldn't really stand out in it for sure. you had to seek shelter. >> reporter: anthony bentley was hiking in zion when water started pouring off the massive mountains. there is little vegetation to slow a flood once the rain starts falling. how fast did that rain start coming? >> it's-- it started out as a pit-a-pat, and over a couple of seconds it became torrential, yeah. >> reporter: park rangers say this group of hikers was warned of the potential for flash flooding before they headed out
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on monday. scott, this is now the deadliest event to ever happen here at zion national park. >> pelley: ben tracy in the canyon lands tonight. ben, thank you. today a body was found at the site of the wildfire in the sierra nevada foothills. searchers are now looking for a victim of another fire north of san francisco. david begnaud is there. >> reporter: today, cadaver dogs were brought into the lake county disaster zone to search for bodies. authorities tell us at least four people are unaccounted for and feared dead, including former san jose mercury newspaper reporter leonard neft. brian martin is the lake county sheriff. >> it moved so fast in several cases people couldn't beat it. they couldn't beat it out of here. >> reporter: telephone lines and emergency communication systems have been burned. there is no water or power. animals are left to roam helplessly. >> this is the worst disaster this county has ever seen. >> reporter: today, state officials were in the burn area surveying damage. mark ghilarbucchi is the
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governor's top emergency manager. >> this is equivalent, by, you know, by scope and scale to any major hurricane that would have hit the east coast. >> reporter: in the anderson springs neighborhood, there is nothing left. the dugan family lost their home just six months after the children lost their mother to cancer. grandmother marsha conns. was there insurance for the home where the kids lived? >> no. >> reporter: no. what do you do next? >> we don't know. we're here for a few days, and then we don't know. >> reporter: seven-year-old griffin, who can't grasp the gravity of the situation, would not let go of his teddy bear. do you feel happy? such innocence in the face of the disaster. scott, right now rain and cooler temperatures are providing relief to firefighters, but it is expected to be warm and dry again tomorrow. >> pelley: david, thank you. today police and federal agents broke up an international ring
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that sold cheap but toxic synthetic marijuana. in two months, 2,300 people have ended up in emergency rooms in new york alone, and jim axelrod is investigating. >> reporter: in the last 24 hours, agents seized two warehouses full of synthetic drugs in the bronx, one of the largest raids ever. but with new york drug rings producing more than a quarter million packets of synthetic marijuana, today's bust is just a small dent in the problem. >> this is one of the brands that is kind of very popular right now among synthetic drug users. >> reporter: eduardo chavez is with the d.e.a. >> over the last several years, our special testing labs have identified over 400 new synthetic drugs. >> reporter: 400? >> absolutely. >> reporter: known by names like k-2 or spice, the synthetics are designed to mimic marijuana but with far more powerful effects. >> oh! >> i have had routine heroin
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users tell me that they've tried spice one time and hated it, were so scared of it, that they would never try it again. >> reporter: the chemicals used to make the drugs are legally imported from china. they're sprayed on to ground-up plants here, and then smoked. >> this is k-2. >> is it? >> yeah. >> reporter: it's cheap and easy to find. this was a bodega in brooklyn. >> two of them? >> one, one $10. >> reporter: in the last year, there's been a 229% hike in calls to poison control centers. emergency room doctor michael glatter. some horrendous things can happen under the influence. >> right. this can cause kidney failure. it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, seizures which don't stop which require a person to be put on a respirator. >> reporter: but there's an even more troubling threat, where the profits from the sales of these synthetic drugs may be going. >> maybe $1,000. >> a lot of this money that is from the sales of spice is hitting countries in the middle
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east where we all know drugs many times fund terror. >> reporter: are you talking about storefronts that are operated by middle eastern owners that might be funneling the money directly back to terror groups? >> a lot of middle eastern-owned shops where our investigations have revealed cash deposits going to countries of conflict such as yemen and syria. >> reporter: sources at the drug enforcement agency say an increased commitment from china is the key to cutting down the amount of chemicals coming into the country. the d.e.a. is hopeful the two countries can include this on the agenda for high-level talks that could be held later this month. >> pelley: the president of china coming to washington later this month. jim axelrod reporting tonight. thank you. mr. stewart goes to washington. we'll tell you why. there's big news tonight from the top of the world. and, an international flight is diverted because of a dog when the "cbs evening news" continues.
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live the regular life. phillips'. >> pelley: former "daily show" host jon stewart showed up today in washington, long the home of some of his favorite targets but no one was laughing today. here's jeff pegues. >> reporter: who do you blame for this? >> whose lawn am i on? >> reporter: the comedian was there to lobby congress to extend the program providing medical care to some 70,000 emergency and cleanup workers from the 9/11 attack sites. >> everything that they say about this country, about how much they love it, about how much they believe in it is-- that's all symbolism as far as i'm concerned, if they can't take care of the people that took care of us. >> reporter: stewart featured the issue on some of his shows, like this one in 2010. >> we're patriots to this country. >> reporter: which included john devlin, a crane operator diagnosed with throat cancer.
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devlin died in 2014. 56-year-old firefighter robert tilearcil, also came to capitol hill today. he said he got cancer from breathing bad air at ground zero. >> our only protection was our face piece and our face piece was only good for 15 minutes. >> reporter: so you were breathing in the toxic air. >> we were breathing in the toxic air. >> reporter: stewart said the workers should not have to go begging for money. >> and they're being dragged down to washington hat in hand to ask for medicine. it's embarrassing. i'm embarrassed as an american that-- that this has to happen. >> reporter: funding was a major sticking point the first time around, and it will be an issue once again as this deadline approaches. scott, supporters of the legislation say they are still trying to determine how much funding would cost on a permanent basis. >> pelley: jeff, thank you very much. three american heroes are about to be honored by the president for stopping an attack on a train. that's next.
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>> pelley: we've learned >> pelley: we've learned that the americans who stopped a gunman on a french train last month are going to the white house tomorrow for a personal thank you from the president. army specialist alek skarlatos will be awarded the soldiers medal. airman first class spencer stone will get the airmen's medal and the purple heart, and anthony sadler will get the department of defense medal of valor. scientists say the ice cap shrank to the fourth smallest area on record. the ice was measured by satellite in 1979, and since then it has decreased 38%. an air canada flight from tel aviv to toronto was diverted to frankfurt, germany, because of a seven-year-old french bulldog named simba. after takeoff, the pilot learned the heater in the cargo hold was broken and simba might have frozen to death. coming up, a long, boring story
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it costs roughly $4.5 billion, nearly a third of which came from the federal government. but unlike boston's big dig and san francisco's new bay bridge, this project will come in under- budget and on time, this according to transit authority michael horodniceanu. >> we are about 84%, 85% done, and the next 15% are probably the toughest one to accomplish because we're talking about integrating a brand new line with something that goes back 100 years. >> reporter: the subway line was first proposed in 1919. over the decades, crisis after crisis derailed the project until it began in earnest in 2007. this is the first major expansion of the new york city subway system in 50 years, and the agency says that there has never been an urban project like this conducted in such a densely populated area. with 100,000 people per square mile above, the biggest obstacle wasn't digging through bedrock. it was disrupting the bedrooms.
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>> here, when you blast and you blast at 9:00 at night, and all the children living in these buildings are awakened by the blast, that's something that-- when the contractor issued, no one thought about. >> reporter: so the m.t.a. launched an aggressive community outreach program to show that the mythological subway will some day actually exist. >> yeah, here we go. >> reporter: but for anyone who's ever renovated anything, we understand your skepticism. don dahler, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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four people are feared dead from wildfires. firefighters are getting help from the rain. the fight is far from over. good evening, i'm ken bastida. >> i'm veronica de la cruz. 70,000 acres are burned but crews hope to keep it from growing. >> juliette goodrich reports from the fire zone tonight. >> reporter: hi, ken. we're at command central and this is the heart of where they're refueling firefighters who have been out on the lines for 24-hour shifts at a time. right now it's dinnertime and they are getting fed before they head back out. to get the latest information on this firefight, we are joined now by cal fire captain
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dan olson. thank you for joining me. are we making progres? >> we are. at 30% containment and 70,000 acres, we were able to double the containment amount from 15 to 30. >> reporter: we have talked about some people that are missing. i know the search is under way with cadaver dogs in neighborhoods. >> we're deferring all those questions to the lake county sheriffs and the cooperating agencies that represent those counties. >> reporter: okay. obviously this rain does help. i know you're tracking the forecast in the next couple of days and it looks like sun again, right? >> yeah. and while this is helping currently at the moment we are not letting our guard down. we are aware that we are expecting up to 95-degree temperatures towards the end of the week and we'll keep pushing on aggressively. >> reporter: four firefighters lost their homes battling this fire but they are


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